The Miami Heat are the best home team in the NBA. They came into Martin Luther King Jr. day with an 18-1 record at AmericanAirlines Arena, and they picked up their 19th win in 20 chances with a nail-biting 118-113 overtime win against the Kings.
It’s another tough pill to swallow for Sacramento. After trailing late in the fourth quarter, Heat big man Bam Adebayo appeared to push off of Kings point guard Cory Joseph at the rim. Adebayo made a bucket with 0.8 seconds remaining that likely will show up on Tuesday’s Last Two Minute Report.
The Kings fell behind early in overtime, but a couple of huge three-pointers from Buddy Hield gave them a late lead. Miami didn't give in, though, eventually handing Sacramento a fifth straight loss.
“That’s more of our team that I’m used to seeing as far as how hard we competed,” Kings coach Luke Walton told reporters in Miami. “That kind of has to get back to being the standard of how we play each and every night. All guys giving everything they have. Unfortunate loss. Give Miami credit, they had a lot of big shots.”
In a season filled with bad beats and last-second misses, this one felt familiar. The Kings now have played 20 games decided by five points or fewer, and they are just 7-13 in those contests.
It’s not one player or one reason for the record, but an assortment of issues that always seem to pop up at the wrong moment.
Nemanja Bjelica put up big numbers for the Kings in Miami, finishing Monday with 22 points on 7-of-13 shooting. His rebound and putback with 1.9 seconds remaining in regulation looked like the game-winner for the Kings.
Belly comes up clutch with 1.9 seconds 😱 pic.twitter.com/0anYsAradJ— Kings on NBCS (@NBCSKings) January 21, 2020
Marvin Bagley put in a strong game as well, scoring 15 points and grabbing 15 rebounds in 38 minutes in just his fourth game back from injury.
“I thought he gave a winning effort tonight,” Walton said of Bagley. “It’s unfortunate it didn’t turn into a win for us.”
Hield gave the Kings a late lead in overtime, but the Heat kept charging back once again.
“He’s always a constant threat to score quickly and he’s evolving as an all-around player too, taking more responsibility on defense and the other things that we ask him to do,” Walton said.
Hield finished the night with 20 points, seven rebounds and seven assists, but he also shot just 5-of-17 from 3-point range in 43 minutes of action.
“I don’t necessarily consider ourselves a bad team, we just can’t figure it out,” Hield said. “Guys hurt, in and out of the lineup. We’re trying to figure out coverages.”
The Kings have been in a tailspin since mid-December, and it could continue.
They are 3-13 over their last 16 contests, and they currently sit a season-worst 13 games under .500 at 15-28. The Kings also are in the middle of their longest road trip of the season with stops in Detroit, Chicago and Minnesota on the schedule before their next home game on Feb. 7.